Lady Problems is a weekly column that looks at how the entertainment industry — and its corresponding culture and constituents — is treating women in a given week. (Hint: It will almost always be “poorly.”) Every Thursday, we’ll review the week’s most significant woman-centric conflicts, then provide a brilliant solution to each problem that nobody in Hollywood will ever listen to or enforce.
The Lady Problem: Last week, we ran down the list of female characters who'd been recently and unceremoniously killed off of their respective TV shows, including Sleepy Hollow's Abbie Mills and Arrow's Laurel Lance. This week brings more good news for people who like TV shows in which women are dead: According to Deadline, Castle star Stana Katic, who's played Detective Kate Beckett for eight full seasons, has been spontaneously axed from the show. So has OG cast member Tamala Jones, who plays Kate's best friend, "whip-smart medical examiner" Lanie Parish. (I sort of assumed/hoped all medical examiners were whip-smart and am now experiencing a worldview-altering terror.) Naturally, all of the male stars' jobs are intact and, somewhere, Woody Allen is enjoying a lavish pedicure.
Though everyone involved is "#heartbroken," including Christina Applegate (?), Deadline's item makes it clear that the choice was not as much creative as it was financial, because "long-running series are expensive." In other words, somebody in a position of power was like, "We need to save money. Why don't we just get rid of the female lead? And her best friend, too, because what will one woman do without another woman to talk about boys with? Cool, good meeting, now let's do more golf." Moving forward, Stana's paycheck will probably be funneled toward some boring dude shit, like loafer polish or those puka shell necklaces.
The Solution: I've literally never watched Castle because it looks like a poor woman's Bones, and Bones is the only Bones I'll ever need (even though I have also stopped watching Bones). But let's all adopt Castle's casual attitude toward women — except toward men, and in real life. Next time you're low on cash or worried about being able to pay your bills, just remove the male figure in your life. You will automatically save on monthly expenses (groceries, porn), your hot water bill will decrease exponentially, and you will be able to hold on to a box of cereal for more than two days. What will you do with all of those Team Cheerios? Maybe you can write a TV show about them.
The Lady Problem: According to Charlize Theron, Charlize Theron's life is hard. For one, she is extremely tall, so it's difficult for her to see the sidewalk. Also, she is very beautiful, and this makes it hard for her to book jobs. “Jobs with real gravitas go to people that are physically right for them and that’s the end of the story," Theron told British GQ earlier this month. "How many roles are out there for the gorgeous, fucking gown-wearing, eight-foot model? When meaty roles come through, I’ve been in the room and pretty people get turned away first.” The backlash to this comment was, in Theron's own words, "rough," with everyone from Heather Matarazzo to every single person on the Internet laying into her for sounding entitled, unaware of her own gorgeous-white-girl privilege, and vaguely insane.
But as she explained to Access Hollywood late last week, Theron was misquoted. Said she: “You know, I don’t want to blame anybody, there is no blame, there was maybe just a huge misunderstanding and I’ve never really spoken in that way. The idea that I would ever say anything that made it sound like I was ungrateful for the career that I have today ... I have always been honest that when I was a model 20 years ago, it was hard to walk in a room, I had to prove myself, and in a way today I’m so lucky that I’m in a place now where I don’t have to, and I’m grateful for that, too, because it gives you character and makes you who you are, and you don’t want everything to come easy."
The Solution: This is a tough one. On one hand, Theron's "clearing it up" quote still makes her sound out of touch with reality; she's still claiming things haven't "come easy" for her because of her good looks. Again, this is a one-million-foot-tall, blonde, blue-eyed white woman we're talking about. This is the sort of shit that makes White Feminism(™) memes so easy. On the other hand, can we stop policing every goddamn word that exits a famous woman's mouth, or nah? In the same interview, Theron also spoke up about the unfair double standard women face in terms of aging in Hollywood; she has also regularly championed gender equality and encouraged young girls to embrace feminism, and she's also also also had to work with Woody Allen, who referred to her as "button-meltingly" hot, which, Jesus Christ, how is Woody Allen even still alive? Can we be done with him yet, like, as a planet? The real solution here is to just think hateful thoughts about Woody Allen, I guess.
The Lady Problem: In a new interview with Rolling Stone, Grimes was asked about Kesha's ongoing battle with Dr. Luke, and she shared that “numerous" producers have attempted to coerce and/or blackmail her into sex over the course of her career. “I don’t know enough about the specifics of [Kesha's] situation, because it seems very complicated,” she told the magazine (h/t Jezebel), but added, “I’ve been in numerous situations where male producers would literally be like, ‘We won’t finish the song unless you come back to my hotel room.' If I was younger or in a more financially desperate situation, maybe I would have done that.” She also notes that producing is often a career choice that's unavailable to women. “I don’t think there are few female producers because women aren’t interested. It’s difficult for women to get in. It’s a pretty hostile environment.”
The Solution: Lock all the male producers in a hotel room together with one guitar and one bagel. Whoever makes it out alive gets to remain alive, but that's it.
The Lady Problem: People confirmed this week that Julia Roberts had to wear the same wig in Mother's Day that she wore during Notting Hill. (Actually, she wore it during a movie-within-a-movie called Helix. But I digress.) Now, Notting Hill is great. I'm not going to pretend that Notting Hill isn't the best movie ever made, and that any and all callbacks to Notting Hill are not wildly appreciated, especially during this national moment of dysfunction and horror that we are calling "the year 2016." But Notting Hill was made 17 years ago; this wig is older than Julia Roberts's cameraman marriage. Can Garry Marshall and the dystopian overlords that continue to finance his vacuous holiday-themed films truly not afford new wigs for Julia Roberts? What is this, Castle?!
The Solution: Get Julia Roberts a new fucking wig. Even if it looks like the same exact wig. Just, like, get a new one! And give Garry Marshall a light sedative.
This Week's Special, Terrible Feature: Sad Shit From the Past
Several women spoke up this week about the misogynistic nonsense that went down in the Hollywood of Yore. Many of them also clarified that a lot of the same type of bullshit is still going on, and everything is disgusting.